Category Archives: Food

Birthday Girl Pixie

Today Pixie had her first birthday. We are struggling to believe that she’s been here for a whole year as it has gone so fast. She is still a wee thing, wearing clothes that her brother and sister were wearing at 6 months. She has worn out the knees of several pairs of trousers recently having been wearing and crawling in them for so long but having started walking can’t wear the too long next size up ones just yet. I made her a couple of pairs of simple trousers from remnants over the weekend so hopefully we can make it a bit longer without needing to buy a third round of 3-6 months trousers.

We bought her a scuttle bug ride on which she is almost big enough to use easily. She can’t climb on by herself but can get off and is getting more successful at moving around. And her own water bottle which she’s super happy about because unlike the big kids ones this doesn’t get taken off her.

In general she’s a happy wee thing, trying to communicate, getting into mischief and trying to keep up with her siblings. She doesn’t really believe in naps and is not great at night but will at times play on her own (or spend her time bothering her siblings) so sometimes I get little bits of crafting time.

I made her cake, chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream and sugar paste flowers. She was super excited to see it and ate rather a large piece as well as some of the flowers.

 Pixie turns 1 - little grey hedgehog

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Hobbity-boo is 6!

Today Hobbity-boo turns 6. Having a 4 year old and a 6 year old somehow sounds much older than a 3 and a 5 year old. We are having macaroni cheese for dinner tonight because that’s her favourite. She currently loves unicorns, fairies and rainbows but still likes to play dinosaurs and trucks with her brother. She loves school and is reading really well now. Her favourite colour is still “I like all the colours”. Her favourite shirt was the one with monsters on it until a few weeks ago when she got a new red one. For her birthday party yesterday she asked for a rainbow cake with rainbows on the inside and the outside, it had to stand up and she wanted clouds on the end. I think I delivered:

Rainbow cake for Hobbit's 6th birthday - little grey hedgehog


Recipe – a combination of a couple of pound cake recipes, divided into six, coloured and layered in the tin.

Cake Tin – ring mould – this one was listed as a savarin mould and had the least curve on the corners I could find.

Icing – I cut it in half, levelled it and then stuck it together with plain buttercream. I then applied a crumb coat to the cake and the clouds. The next day I mixed up a heap of buttercream, divided it into six and coloured it before piping it with the large star nozzle.

Clouds – rice bubbles (krispies) and marshmallows mould into balls and covered with two layers of plain buttercream.

Food colouring – I used Wiltons Gels in Leaf Green, Red Red, Golden Yellow, Pink, Violet and Royal Blue. I combined Red Red and Golden Yellow to make the Orange in both the cake and icing. I used Red Red to make the red cake layer but combined it with Pink to get a better icing colour.

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Wee Man is 4!

Today is Wee Man’s fourth birthday. I’m not quite sure how that happened so fast. He loves dinosaurs, trucks and numbers. He wants to do homework like his big sister and plays at being a baby like his little one. Orange is still his favourite colour and he loves to eat sausages and pasta (or best of all sausage inside pasta). He’ll be starting school in August (eep!) and is getting closer and closer to being ready for it. He’s having a wee little party with a few friends, party games and cake!

Triceratops cake for Wee Man's fourth birthday - little grey hedgehog


Recipe: Chocolate cake from my Edmond’s cookbook sized up by 2/3rds. (Baking takes about twice as long or more than recipe states.)

Cake tin: Large and small hemispheres

Sculpting: took the sides and part of back off the small hemisphere to butt it up to the large one. Took chunks out of the sides of the large hemisphere to create the legs. Used scraps to create a tail. Smushed it all together with buttercream. Frill created with marshmallows and rice bubbles (rice krispies), shaped by hand and then attached to the buttercream already in place at the neck.

Icing: Buttercream to sculpt and as a crumbcoat. 500g of orange fondant to cover – mostly in one sheet but with patching around the edges and between the legs. Water and fingers used to smooth out joins. Had to make myself stop fiddling with it trying to make it perfect.

Features: Horns shaped from white fondant around toothpicks. Eyes are Wiltons Candy eyes purchased from Amazon.

 

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All the cake

The first week of February is cake week in our house. Both the kids birthdays are this week and they each have their own opinions on cake. It makes for quite a lot of cake. Half of the Wee Man’s ended up in the freezer as we hadn’t got through it before I made Hobbity-boo’s cake for her party on Saturday. Luckily half of that one went home with party guests so we are not completely overwhelmed with cake.

Both cakes have a chocolate base – I’ve used this recipe several times before and although it takes much longer to bake than the recipe says it comes out lovely and moist. The recipe is from Edmonds Cookbook (mine is the edition printed in 1999). They are coated with chocolate buttercream before fondant.

Wee Man asked for an orange tractor cake. He is obsessed with trucks and things at the moment. I used this tutorial as inspiration and started with a square cake. There are parts where the fondant is a bit thin (I was worried about running out of black) but the kids agreed that it looked like a tractor. The back wheels are donuts and the front small circles of cake.

Orange tractor cake for a little boy turning 3 - little grey hedgehog

For the third year in a row Hobbity-boo has asked for a ladybird cake (though she tells me that next year she wants a rainbow). This year it is purple and black and we used a number of different cutters to make leaves and flowers for around the base (added advantage of hiding any wobbly bits). The antenna are fondant wrapped around cut down straws. I’m happier with the fondant on this, I had plenty so wasn’t trying to spread it so thin.

Ladybird for a 5 year old - little grey hedgehog

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Birthday Cakes

The kids birthdays are only a few days apart so we have a bit of a birthday week going on at this time of the year.

(Note: this post is mostly a reference post for me for future cakes)

I consulted with my newly 4 year old about cakes for her and her brother and we decided that she wanted a ladybird (not a ladybug) like she had last year but this time it had to be pink with lots of spots. The spots later got upgraded to being purple in particular and there had to be a sticking out tongue. I have two hemisphere cake pans that I bought for last year’s efforts and made a 1.5 x banana cake to fill the two of them. I skipped the mashing bananas step and my Kitchen Aid mixed them in quite thoroughly anyway. The small cake was cut and then stuck to the larger with vanilla butter-cream which was spread over the rest of the cake too. I used store bought black and fuchsia fondant icing for the body and small amounts of white fondant that I coloured with gel colourings for the facial features and spots. I had a bit of trouble with getting the black icing smooth especially on the face as it ended up very thin in parts but she was not bothered by it’s wrinkles and was pretty excited by her cake.

Ladybird Cake

Wee Man didn’t have much to say about his thoughts (he’s still not much for talking) but Hobbit and I decided on chocolate cake with chocolate icing and a rocket on top. Wee Man told us that rockets fly to the moon so we had to have a moon too. I used the large hemisphere cake tin to make the cake (a single recipe of chocolate cake) and then covered it in chocolate butter-cream. I again used white fondant that I coloured with gels to make the decorations. The rocket and moon are from cookie cutters (they came in a set with an astronaut) and the stars are from little icing cutters. He was pretty excited about the rocket flying in the sky to the moon and very much enjoyed having Happy Birthday sung to him.

Rocket Cake

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Tis the season …

to make Christmas cake. Made my Christmas cake on Sunday – used the same recipe as last time and apart from struggling to stir the full mix as I should have used a bigger bowl it all went well. It’s wrapped in many layers of foil and cling film and hiding in the cupboard til Christmas (if I remember it’ll get extra doses of Brandy but I forgot last year and it didn’t seem to matter).

Christmas Cards

I’ve also been making Christmas cards whilst Hobbit has been scribbling with crayons and have enough made now to cover this Christmas. I think I try out a new technique most years – last year it was lots of embossing, this year it’s colouring in stamped images. I bought a couple of magazines a month or two ago with Christmas stamps as the free gift and have used those in my cards this year.

Flower cards

I’ve also started working on some images for birthday/baby/generic cards for the first few months of next year so that I don’t have to think about them with a newborn in the house. The drawings are not really my own (though the colouring is) – they come from various how to draw websites (I used similar for making glass ornaments last Christmas). It’s fun colouring them in – clearly I should look into some adult colouring in books. Some will get stamped sayings added to the image but some will stay plain. I’ve also some more specific cards to make – new baby and a special birthday – but I hope these will come in handy.

 

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Autumnal feelings

Every time I look out the window at the moment the trees seem to have more and more yellow leaves. The weather has changed and the nights are closing in. It’s definitely turned into autumn.

Given that it’s suddenly autumn I no longer feel ridiculous for wanting to make soup and casseroles all the time. Tonight’s dinner was butternut squash soup (not sure where the recipe came from originally) – nice and thick and warm. With it we had Rosemary and Onion Bread with Blue Cheese Topping. I’ve made this before and it was just the right thing for dunking in the soup. And Hobbit even ate some soup!

Leftovers for lunch tomorrow 🙂Rosemary Onion BreadCraft wise the blanket is making steady progress and I’ve sewn the third of four t-shirts. The windows are clean and our wardrobe is sorted out. Altogether the two wardrobes had three bins worth of cardboard boxes in them – not entirely sure why I though I needed to save so many. I’ve also cleaned off a couple of bits of wall – one where the stroller lives and the other behind the pillows on our bed. There’s a few more things on the list but I pleased to be making progress.

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